Employment Law Blog Carnival: 1950's Summer Road Trip Edition

                          If you ever plan to motor west,

Travel my way, take the highway that is best.Route 66 sign.512px-ROUTE_66_sign.jpg

Get your kicks on Route 66.

It winds from Chicago to LA,

More than two thousand miles all the way,

Get your kicks on Route 66.*

OK, kiddies -- jump into my '55 T-bird, and let's take off on old Route 66, from Chicago to L.A., more than two thousand miles all the way! If you promise to behave, I'll let you ride with the top down.

But before we hit the road, we need to designate our main driver   . . . someone sober, responsible, and capable. Ari Rosenstein at CPEhr's Small Biz HR Blog helps us out with The Thirteen Capabilities and Expectations of Mid-Level Managers. And, by the way, is this guy a "supervisor"? Mario Bordogna of Employment Essentials will tell you all about it in his discussion of the Supreme Court's recent Vance v. Ball State decision.

And we need some cash, too. Mitchell Quick of the HR Genius Bar advises when it comes to employee loans that you Don't Show Them the Money.

Are we ready now? Let's head out of the Windy City -- California, here we come!

 

Chicago.512px-Chicago_from_Montrose_Point_060820.jpgBye-bye, toddlin' town!

 

As we approach the west side of Illinois, we have to swerve around some potholes. Lorene Schaefer of Win-Win HR warns employers to watch out for the risks associated with having their "regular" employment counsel conduct harassment investigations.

 

St. Louis.512px-St_Louis_night_expblend.jpg"No, Junior, that's NOT a great big silver McDonald's!"

 

The road is still a little rutty in Missouri, and they're repaving. Dawn Lomer of iSight warns employers to beware of the revelations that may be inadvertently made through metadata.

 

Kansas.1954KansasBorder.JPG

"What's metadata?"


As we cut across the southeastern corner of Kansas, Donna Ballman of Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home warns her readers that the Supreme Court decision in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar does not mean a plaintiff has to prove that retaliation is the only motivation for the employer's actions. I agree with Donna (well, ok, maybe not about all that "employer's lawyers are 'the dark side'" stuff), but here I note that it does have to be a determining factor -- in other words, that the adverse action would not have occurred "but for" the retaliatory motive.

 

Road.Two_Lane_Blacktop_filming_in_Boswell_Oklahoma.jpg"That ol' highway's a'callin' me."

 

Darn! Pulled in Oklahoma for going 70 in a 55! Will this keep me from getting a job when I get back home? John Holmquist of Michigan Employment Law Connection explains the EEOC's position on criminal background checks.

This trip seemed like a good idea when we started, but now we're all getting tired and cranky, and that speeding ticket sure didn't help. Jon Hyman of the Ohio Employer's Law Blog says (in so many words), "Sit down and shut up!" to people who get too preachy in the workplace. Maybe we just need a change of scenery.

 

Palo Duro Canyon.lossy-page1-800px-Palo_Duro_canyon.tif.jpgPalo Duro Canyon, Texas.

 

Ahh, that helped. As we continue west, we'll try to stay safe with Stuart Rudner of Canadian HR Reporter, who notes that there is no such thing as employment at will in Canada and gives some tips on how to terminate an employee for just cause. (Even if you're American, chances are good that most of your terminations are for cause, too, so you will appreciate Stuart's insight.)

Oh, no! Can't read a map?* Where are we? Better stop at this motel and figure out where we are . . .

*No GPS in the '50s. Next thing you know, we'll have to stop at a phone booth to call for directions. Oh, the humanity!

 

Blue_Swallow_Motel_from_SE_1.JPG"Tucumcari? What is a Tucumcari?"

 

While we're disoriented, we can read Janelle Milodragovich of Washington Workplace Law on a court decision that leaves up in the air the exemption status of mortgage loan officers under the Fair Labor Standards Act. And, speaking of getting our bearings, don't miss Nilesh Patel's analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a significant part of the Defense of Marriage Act.

 

Albuquerque.Route_66_Downtown.jpg"I knew we should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque."

 

Dang, these western states are big! We need a rest stop. Randy Enochs of Milwaukee Employment Lawyer tells us all we need to know about the decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit saying that lactation is a pregnancy-related condition and therefore terminating an employee for asking for "lactation accommodation" violates Title VII. (And, by the way, it may also violate a recent amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act.)

As we roll into Holbrook, Arizona, we're glad to be tired so that we'll have an excuse to spend the night at the awesome Wigwam Motel:

 

Wigwam_Motel,_Holbrook,_AZ_04048u_edit.jpgCoolest motel ever!

 

And Crystal Spraggins of Musings tells us all about the EEOC's equal pay lawsuit filed against Extended Stay Hotels (even though neither the EEOC nor -- I'm guessing -- the hotel chain was around in the '50s, and unequal pay was perfectly legal back then). Can we make it the rest of the way tomorrow? Mark Toth of The Employment Blawg gives us the Halfway Report for 2013, letting us know exactly where employment law stands "at this juncture," as they say. The next morning, we're up and at 'em! HOME STRETCH, Baby!

 

Grand Canyon.640px-Grandcanyon_view5.jpg"Hey, kids - there's the Grand Canyon! Sorry - no time to stop - gotta make it to L.A. by sundown!"

 

And FINALLY we cruise into Santa Monica, California, and see the Pacific Ocean. But first a stop at the spa -- Eric Meyer of The Employer Handbook answers the burning (ripping? ripping and burning?) question of whether refusing a Brazilian wax is legally protected activity. I wish I were kidding.

 

Santa_Monica_beach.jpgThe Golden State.

 

We need some summer reading while we're chillaxin' on the beach. We can catch up on what's happening back East by reading Daniel Schwartz of the Connecticut Employment Law Blog about the recent Connecticut decision limiting the relief available for whistleblowers; and Heather Bussing of HR Examiner, about why most workplace "harassment" is legal; and Robert Fitzpatrick of Fitzpatrick on Employment Law about the duty to negotiate in good faith.

OK, well, that was fun, but it's time to turn around and go home! Thanks very much to this month's excellent contributors, and many, many thanks as always to "Brazilian Wax" Eric B. Meyer, who organizes the Employment Law Blog Carnival every month. In August, our host with the most will be Ari Rosenstein of CPEhr's Small Biz HR Blog. Be sure to tune in then!

 

*Words and music to "Route 66" by Bobby Troup. ©TROUP-LONDON, LLC DBA TROUP-LONDON MUSIC, Universal Music Publishing Group.

IMAGE CREDITS: Wikimedia Commons. The Chicago Sears Tower and St. Louis Gateway Arch had not really been built yet in the 1950's. Tucumcari photo is of the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico.

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Robin Shea has 30 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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